Lowcountry experts discuss BP oil disaster, offshore drilling

By Sheldon Dutes  bio | email | Twitter

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Since the BP oil disaster, offshore drilling has become a hot button issue in politics. On Tuesday night, it was the focus of a panel discussion at the Charleston Visitor Center.

Experts discussed the risks associated with offshore drilling, including the possibility of another underwater leak.

Although she would have liked a bigger crowd, Pat Sullivan was impressed with the panel discussion.

"I think it's marvelous that they put this group together. The information we learned was really terrific," Sullivan said.

As a result of that massive spill in the Gulf, President Obama has put a temporary ban on offshore drilling.

But if it resumes, could we eventually see oil rigs off of the South Carolina coast?
"As far as oil and gas is concerned South Carolina is very, very low on the list of having the resources that would even be possible for drilling," said College of Charleston Geologist Scott Harris.

According to some scientists, South Carolina does not have the temperatures or pressure needed to create oil.

Some supporters of offshore drilling say it could reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

Opponents, however, feel drilling is not the answer. According to them, there are small changes consumers can make to cut down on the amount of oil they use.

"A lot of it is about making personal choices...about the types of vehicles you drive and how we drive those vehicles. Those are the big things relative to oil," said Stephen Smith, Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

If you don't have a fuel efficient car, experts suggest walking or biking more often to reduce your oil consumption.

If you'd like to see more renewable energy efforts in South Carolina, experts say it's also helpful to contact state and national lawmakers.

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